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How do you prevent boredom during the pre arrival time off work?

(21 Posts)
Helenback56 Thu 26-Oct-17 16:19:41

Hi all,
I'm on "light duties" in an NHS role and enjoying a normal, so far easy first pregnancy. I'm due mid Jan.
I'd originally hoped to start maternity leave on new years day at 38 weeks after a week and a half of annual leave.
Unfortunately, the staff that authorise leave wont allow any over Christmas, so I've requested maternity leave starts on Christmas day (37/40) to ensure they don't make me work it. But now i have almost 2 weeks of annual leave allocated to start on 12th dec so its all used before maternity leave commences.
My problem is this.....what on earth do i do for up to 6 weeks to stop myself getting bored? Surely i can only do so much nesting and resting! I'm not one to sit down all day and I'm keen to continue with light exercise. But most of my nearest and dearest work full time (hubby especially) so i am worried about being bored and lonely. I've never had more than 18 days off work (that hasn't been a holiday) in 15 years of employment.

user1493413286 Thu 26-Oct-17 16:22:55

I wish I had spent time filling my freezer with meals for after the baby had come, would have been really helpful.

JohnLapsleyParlabane Thu 26-Oct-17 16:23:05

Nap. Go to places alone. Nap. Eat cake. Nap.

Lilacpenny1 Thu 26-Oct-17 16:26:14

Ensure you have a structure to your day rather than just waking up at random times. I work from home and am 21 weeks and I get down if I don't have a structure to my day. Embrace those final weeks of freedom! Go to a gallery, or a cafe, or take up a specific project you want to achieve in that period (like some needlework - I am attempting a cute one for the baby's room). Go to the cinema in the day time. Think of all the people you know who might be free to meet for a coffee during the day. Treat yourself to a massage. Etc. Enjoy!

Joinourclub Thu 26-Oct-17 16:28:07

I loved my pre baby mat leave so much!!

I slept, had long baths, prepped a lot of freezer meals, made a blanket for the baby.

mindutopia Thu 26-Oct-17 16:30:18

Do things you won't be able to do with a baby. I only had a day of mat leave really with my first as I went into labour at 37 weeks (in that day, I went to the spa though and spent a relaxing day swimming, eating nice food, having a massage and a facial). I really recommend a spa day if you can afford one (mine was a Christmas present). Otherwise, once you've nested and sorted the house and have everything ready to go, go out and enjoy a nice quiet lunch by yourself (this literally will not happen again for potentially a couple years). Go see a film you've wanted to see. Read a book (I bought 3 books for all the reading I thought I'd get done once my daughter was born in all the 'free time' I thought I'd have, I didn't pick one of them up until she was about 9 months and I've yet to read the other two - she's nearly 5 now). Go have coffee and read a magazine in peace. Nap. Have a lie in. Go for a swim or a walk to keep yourself active. Obviously, it's in the evening and all, but go out on dates with your husband. And then you'll have all the usual Christmas things to do too which should break it up. I know all that sounds really boring, but I mourned the loss of all of those things after my daughter was born. I had such great plans for all the relaxing I would do at the start of mat leave, but then bam, I was in labour and there she was. So I never got to do any of it. It was at least 9 months until I had a meal out without her, so treasure those solitary lunches and coffees. You probably won't realise how much you'll miss them until you do. Alternatively, there are likely some pregnancy groups near you and it's easy to organise meet ups with other mums who are starting their mat leave and wanting to make new friends. NCT would be a good place to look or if there are local Facebook groups for mums, ask on there, there's almost always someone who is keen.

pastabest Thu 26-Oct-17 16:31:36

Well, the baby might come early.

I had a similar amount of time off for the exact same reasons. I honestly wasn't bored at any time. Like you it was the first time since I was about 16 that I had nothing at all to do and it was wonderful.

I watched shit telly, had baths in the middle of the day, got my hair cut, musnetted and went for lunches with friends.

Was ace.

museumum Thu 26-Oct-17 16:32:53

I went to two antenatal yoga classes and one aquanatal for starters. Met loads of lovely people who kept me sane after the birth.
Visit local coffee shops and libraries and community centres and museums so you get your bearings and feel comfortable there for when you’ve a tiny baby in tow.

FairyHedgehogg Thu 26-Oct-17 16:36:03

I had seven weeks off before DD was induced at 42 weeks, and did get a bit bored tbh. I wish I'd spent more time visiting museums and galleries and reading in cafes - things that aren't very entertaining for babies. I wish I'd appreciated that my time won't really be my own again for years to come - getting anything much done is dependant on the whims of the anti-napper wink

pinyata Thu 26-Oct-17 16:36:40

I know of 3 people who stopped at 34 weeks (myself included) and all 3 of them babies were born at 37 weeks so enjoy every min baby could appear at any moment

Anatidae Thu 26-Oct-17 16:37:40

This question always puzzles me. Why would you be bored? Surely there’s nothing better than 8 weeks of downtime. How could you be bored?

You have two months to do whatever you want. So do that.

RiceButt Thu 26-Oct-17 16:48:26

I had 7 weeks off before baby arrived. I'd say just enjoy it. It's highly unlikely you will ever get the chance to lounge around and be lazy and eat crap for 6 weeks ever again. Maybe when retirement comes around....grin

Helenback56 Thu 26-Oct-17 16:57:06

Thanks all.
I've literally never had that much time off in my life, which is why its daunting. Already finding it weird adapting my pace as normally my days off would focus on housework/garden maintenence/diy/working out or something else that is probably less easily achievable heavily pregnant. I know i will never have the same free time again for a long while.
I have got friends/family i can see, but not always regularly in the daytime as they have their own families and jobs.
I appreciate baby might not be late, but I'm hoping it stays put over Christmas at least.
Im hoping to get a couple of books read and a spa day sounds lovely 😊

SomehowSomewhere1 Thu 26-Oct-17 16:59:13

Self employed so plan to work as long as I can, i’d be the same otherwise. Is there any volunteering you can do? Maybe help a charity that does Christmas dinners prepare, or on the till in a charity shop. Anything to stop stir crazy.

ChocolatePancake Thu 26-Oct-17 17:09:10

I don't have an answer but wow, what a marvellous issue

BlueKarou Thu 26-Oct-17 17:14:57

Books. Box sets. Sleep. I supervised my dad doing DIY stuff, and helped out where I could. We painted and varnished a kitchen table and benches. I was wielding a mean power screwdriver in the days before I gave birth, assembling a small rabbit hutch. We did a test drive to the hospital to gauge timings etc. I did lunch with my mum, packed and re-packed my hospital bag.

If it helps, start making a list of little things you'd like to do in those weeks so you're not feeling aimless once the time arrives.

Dreams16 Thu 26-Oct-17 17:21:43

Enjoy it I was due end of March this year and my DC arrived early April so I ended up with a month off as I finished work end of feb and I enjoyed lazy mornings no more early starts I also did a lot of cleaning 😂 and most importantly I got to watch a lot of tv boxsets movies go for walks shopping catching up with my friends enjoy it before baby comes because once baby does arrives things take a lot longer to do so when it only use to take you five mins to head out for shopping it can take a lot longer when you have to plan ahead babies feeding nappies etc just enjoy the peace and all the best with rest of your pregnancy grin

Dreams16 Thu 26-Oct-17 17:23:54

Ohh forgot to mention if you have DP go out and enjoy meals together that’s what me and my DH done we went out most weekends for a meal out enjoyed quality time with one another before we became three

Oysterbabe Thu 26-Oct-17 17:50:49

I'm literally never happier than when I'm alone and have nothing to do. I could happily read all day, go to the cinema, go out for a fancy hot chocolate and read there, play on mumsnet, watch Louis Theroux documentaries on Netflix, cook... Loads of things really.
Last time I had a day off to myself I spent the afternoon baking fancy bread then a really nice lasagna for dinner.

Lozmatoz Thu 26-Oct-17 17:52:53

You will NEVER, EVER has free time on your own again. Relax, go to the cinema (it’s so quiet in the day time), shop, get food ready to freeze, sleep, watch tv, read, practice hypnobirthing, bath, beauty treatment perhaps, arrange to meet other local mums to be, clean, get all those odd jobs sorted.....

lorelairoryemily Thu 26-Oct-17 18:02:09

Sleep! I had 2 weeks off before my ds arrived and I got up early every single day, went to town, cleaned the house... I should have slept!!

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